William Stang

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Streetname in Bad Schönborn / Langenbrücken

William Stang (April 21, 1854 – February 2, 1907) was a German-born prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as the first Bishop of Fall River from 1904 until his death in 1907.

Biography[edit]

William Stang was born at Langenbrücken in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany.[1] He received his early education at the local gymnasium and then attended the minor seminary of Sint-Niklaas in Belgium.[1] He entered the American College of Louvain in 1875, where he completed his theological studies.[2] He was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1878.[3]

Stang briefly taught at the Catholic University of Leuven before coming to the United States in September 1878 to work in the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island.[4] He primarily ministered to the local German Catholic community while also serving as a curate at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Providence.[5] He was named pastor of St. Anne's Church in Cranston in 1884.[1] He then served as rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral until 1895, when he returned to the Catholic University of Leuven to serve as vice-rector and professor of moral theology.[2] He returned to Providence in 1899, becoming head of the diocesan mission band.[4] He was named pastor of St. Edward's Church in 1901 and also served as chancellor of the diocese.[1]

On March 12, 1904, Stang was appointed the first Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, by Pope Pius X.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Bishop Matthew Harkins, with Bishops Michael Tierney and John Brady serving as co-consecrators, at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.[3] During his tenure, he established eleven parishes and founded St. Anne's Hospital.[5] He once described divorce as a "pernicious practice...contrary to the moral order and the law of Christ," and condemned Saturday dances as "a source of scandal [that] must be stopped at once."[6][7]

Stang died at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, at age 52.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Bishop Stang High School, located in North Dartmouth, is named in his honor.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Carr, Edward (1909). "Fall River". Catholic Encyclopedia. V. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  2. ^ a b O'Donnell, John Hugh (1922). The Catholic Hierarchy of the United States, 1790-1922. Washington, D.C. 
  3. ^ a b c Cheney, David M. "Bishop William Stang". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  4. ^ a b Murray, Thomas Hamilton (1907). The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society. VII. Boston. 
  5. ^ a b "Bishop William Stang". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. 
  6. ^ "BISHOP APPEALS AGAINST DIVORCE". The Meriden Daily Journal. 1906-03-10. 
  7. ^ "BISHOP DENOUNCES DANCING". Providence News. 1906-01-08. 

References[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • Pastoral theology (New York, 1897)
  • Historiographia Ecclesiastica quam historiae seriam solidamque operam navantibus (Freiburg, 1897)
  • Business Guide for Priests (New York, 1899)
  • The Devil, Who He Is and What He Does (Providence, 1900)
  • Sozialismus und Christentum, with Rudolf Amberg (“Socialism and Christendom,” Einsiedeln, 1907)
  • The Holy Hour of Adoration (New York, 1907)
  • Medulla fundamentalis theologiae moralis quam seminaristis et presbyteris (Neo-Eboraci, Cincinnati, 1907)
  • Life of Martin Luther
  • The Eve of the Reformation
  • More About the Huguenots
  • Germany's Debt to Ireland
  • Spiritual Pepper and Salt

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
New title Bishop of Fall River
1904–1907
Succeeded by
Daniel Francis Feehan